KVT – A Rite to Remember

KVT – A Rite to Remember

KVT 2013


KVT blown away by dance.

Concerning the Hanoi cultural scene: If we get anything that surpasses Jean-Claude Gallotta’s “The Rite of Spring” I’ll eat my three hats without salt and pepper or fish sauce.

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Choreographed in 2011 for 13 dancers from the Centre Choreographic National de Grenoble and presented in Paris in 2012 and now on an Asian Tour, Gallotte’s celebrated interpretation of the ‘Rite’ was definitely, as one theater’s PR put it: a twirling, spinning tribute to Igor Stravinsky that is all ablaze.

This version strips away the veneer of civilization and propriety that we tend to wrap ourselves in and unleashes the primeval passions and tensions and animal instincts that lie smouldering beneath the surface waiting to be manipulated and spilled like eviserated, steaming entrails to smother reason.
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A team of mature, experienced dancers danced the pagan ritual of spring that demanded human sacrifice, usually female or innocent child, to ensure the rebirth and fecundity of the earth’s life cycle. Nowadays, as perhaps implied, even the behavioral rituals involved in modern corporate life can be as metaphorically blood thirsty.

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In Gallotta’s memorable eighty minute masterpiece, the women were the collective sacrificial victims and the passions and excitements of the onlookers to the rape were truly awful

Can there be redemption or forgiveness after one participates in the rituals and behaviors that tempt us to bare our teeth and want the metallic taste of blood in our mouths? Throughout the history of the modern world there’s always been ways to be shriven of our baser actions, to roll back the carpet and sweep it underneath and forget about it…to start with a clean slate!

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Although we were presented with a version slightly more decorously clad than above it was a night of dance that will be impossible to erase from my mind. And as I ride over some mountain trails for the next six days my febrile mind will be seething with allegorical allusions that Gallotta may or may not have intended.

A brilliant dance, a stunning commencement with a primal scream and a Tumulte without music. Then a primal scream to echo in the darkness when the music stopped that seemed to suggest that we shouldn’t be complacent.

Thank you, you wonderful French for, once again, bringing us the best of the very best.

Kiem Van Tim is a keen observer of life in general and the Hanoi cultural scene in particular and offers some of these observations to the Grapevine. KVT insists that these observations and opinion pieces are not critical reviews. Please see our Comment Guidelines / Moderation Policy and add your thoughts in the comment field below.

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